Introducing… Keyshia Dior (2010 Interview)

Keyshia Dior does not have an album coming out… but she looks like she does.  Looking at the Miami native, her head crowned by a flowing Mohawk, her face adorned with vivid shades and color, and her style of dress which can only be described as edgy, and it is easy to see how a person would believe she is a star.  And that’s a good thing because Keyshia is a part of the star making industry.

Let’s face it – we as people are a judgmental group. We form opinions about others on first sight.  We judge books by their covers…and celebrities are constantly showing their cover to the world.  Here enters Keyshia Dior.  She makes sure that people find a cover interesting enough to read the book.

Keyshia is an actress, model, and stylist, the latter of which has helped her get a foothold in the industry.  Her unique look garners attention that even Keyshia cannot fully explain.

“I have an edgy style.  I have had a love for fashion since I was a little girl.  I’m part Jamaican so I don’t know if that’s how my style came about.  I know a lot of people see me and just assume I’m not American.  I don’t know if it’s about how I look, how I speak, or how I dress.  I’m not too sure,” laughs Keyshia as she tries to put in plain words people’s perception of her.

Keyshia Dior Photoshoot - Image from Black Men Digital / Magazine

And that perception is based on Keyshia’s individuality when it comes to fashion.  It is her love for fashion that led to a career in styling but Keyshia still keeps her attention on the other parts of the entertainment industry.

“My long term goal is to gain success as an actress.  Eventually that is where I will put most of my focus.  For right now, though, I am all three…a stylist, model, and actress,” says Keyshia as she juggles a few business calls.  “It keeps me competitive.  I would love to do commercial work for a cosmetic line.  At the same time I would love to do any movie role.  I go with whichever one gets the job or booking.”

Her three pronged approach to the entertainment business has paid off.  Keyshia has worked with events like the Superbowl, major networks like MTV and BET, various directors like Chris Robinson, and musical artists like Lil’ Wayne, Birdman and Nicki Minaj.  One of her most notable and recent appearances is opposite Timbaland in his video for “Say Something” featuring Drake.  The video helped her display her trio of talents.

“I read a monologue for the video. They were looking for an actress to play Timbaland’s jealous wife.  They liked my reading plus they liked my look.  It just so happens I had a lot of my styling materials with me.  I showed the on-set stylist some of my stuff and she, along with the director, liked it.  It’s because of that that they allowed me to style myself.”

Style is something Keyshia is very concerned about.  She gives style tips to her many followers on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube and Ustream, and when cameras are following her behind the scenes on video shoots she can be found giving in-depth descriptions about what she is wearing.

“In this industry you are constantly judged.  People judge and think what they want to think.  You will never totally get rid of that.  Your image is everything.  When someone doesn’t know you they will judge you on your outside appearance.  This job is important for me and the people I style.  For example, if you put a female singer in something that is very revealing you have just helped to form an opinion about her.  I style people so that they can have control over the image they want to project.”

Keyshia’s three pronged approach to the industry has also helped her from being pigeon-holed.  Her personality is one that does not want to be confined to just one thing as she garners more and more recognition daily.

“I have a relatively new career.  It’s a great feeling to know that people are finally starting to see my work.  To see that people are finally starting to see the name Keyshia Dior as a brand and that I’m not just a video girl.  I want people to get to know me.  I have been doing this for awhile behind the scenes but now I am stepping out into the limelight.  I want them to see me grow as an actress, model, and a stylist.”

~ Interview by Devaughn Douglas